The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) hosted a consultative meeting with the Association of Senates,
Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa (ASSECAA) and the Federation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Chambers, in Addis Ababa on Monday October 16th.
The PACCI teamed up with the ASSECAA last summer to strengthen business and investment cooperation between Gulf and African countries. ASSECA was instrumental in bringing the PACCI and the GCC chambers together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims to promote Africa as an emerging market to GCC companies. To that end, both economies have agreed to exchange information on growth opportunities regularly and to organize trade events to promote better understanding of their respective market and sectors needs.
The MoU was signed by the Chairman of the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce, Mr Khalil Abdullah Al-Khinji, and the Acting President of the PACCI, Dr Seth Adjei-Baah. Five members of the GCC chambers as well as the Secretary General of ASSECAA, Mr. Abdulwasie Yusuf and his Deputy were also present.
Kebour Ghenna, Executive Director of PACCI, is optimistic that the MoU will benefit African firms and will boost employment in Africa. This is because the MoU will pave the way for increased trade and investment between the two economies.
African countries are amongst the fastest growing countries in the world. While Europe struggles to hold together crumbling economies, Africa is experiencing its longest income boom for 30 years, with gross domestic product growth rates averaging about 5 percent annually over the past decade. Even this year, as markets elsewhere collapse, the continent’s income is projected to increase by around 4.5 percent.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Africa will have the world’s fastest-growing economy during the next five years of any continent. Its forecasts also show that seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies will be African, with Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo, Ghana, Zambia and Nigeria expected to expand by more than 6 percent a year until 2015.
During this meeting, the PACCI and the GCC Chambers of Commerce have agreed to hold a joint Business Forum and Expo in Addis Ababa in October 2014. The event is expected to bring high-powered GCC investors and business operators to Africa through the expo and the conference.
President Baah explained that: “…it will, without doubt, bring demonstrable, tangible benefits to Africa. GCC business men and financiers across the major sectors will be actively looking to invest in a number of sectors in joint venture partnerships with locals.”
Baah said the Expo is highly significant as “it could result in one of the biggest injections ever of GCC private sector money into Africa.”